A Treatise on Probability (Dover Books on Mathematics) by John Maynard Keynes

By John Maynard Keynes

With this insightful exploration of the probabilistic connection among philosophy and the historical past of technological know-how, the recognized economist breathed new existence into reviews of either disciplines. initially released in 1921, this significant mathematical paintings represented an important contribution to the speculation in regards to the logical chance of propositions, and introduced the “logical-relationist” idea.

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35 At the moment when the mathematical theory of gaming and the conceptual validity of probability converge under the demands of the law, the fortuna in the ancien régime’s military actions and the rationality of insurance are pervaded by one and the same logic. It is the Janus face of the modern state: outwardly, the state displays its mask of sovereignty in the politics of fortuna; inwardly, facing society, the contingency-related politics of insurance shows its pastoral countenance of care and welfare.

30 Pufendorf is alluding to a complex form of Roman contract law. Conditional contracts are agreements in which both parties bind their obligation to a future event that can occur or not occur and on which they have no influence. With this form of contract, jurists had something at their fingertips that would not be recognized as a logical structure until the development of probability theory. As such, however, it would have a promising and long-lasting career ahead of it: the logic of ifthen constructions.

First of all, this literature forged an anthropological doctrine based on the casuistry of prohibitions and transgressions, a doctrine that justified the distraction of gaming and play from serious life. A harmonic rhythm of exertion and relaxation, tension and release was bestowed on man in his very creation. In paradise, man followed this natural rhythm, alternating between rest and work in the Garden of Eden without a contradiction ever developing between the two. Original Sin and the subsequent Fall formed the opposition that now exists between seriousness and play, between vital necessity and diversion.

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